The shoulder is an important part of the body. It helps in flexible movements of the hands. This function can be affected if pain occurs in the shoulder. Pain under left/right shoulder may occur due to various reasons. The cause will determine the severity of the pain under shoulder blade. Usually pain under left shoulder blade is not severe, but it may be linked to heart illnesses. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a medical expert.
Shoulder pain affects all ages of people in any situations. For example, youth are affected with shoulder pain due to over exertion of the shoulder while playing, sports, doing activities etc. In case of old people, worn out joints can be a cause for shoulder pain. The main cause for pain under left/right shoulder blade is the structure of the shoulder joint. The structure makes the shoulder open to pulls, sprains, and swelling of muscle, ligament, and capsule. Therefore, first the reason for pain has to be diagnosed and then proper treatment may be given for the same.
Some of the reasons for pain under left shoulder blade are listed below:
- Strained, overused or sprained muscles can cause pain under left shoulder blade. Overuse of muscle, at times can result in spasms and hamper the function of them disposing of waste matter. This causes development of trigger points which are very painful. This further results in pain under shoulder blade.
- Subscapularis Inflammation
- Impingement Syndrome
- Dislocation from socket joint
- Aging: With growing age bones become delicate and fragile. Density of bone also reduces and bones weaken gradually. Minor fall can cause injury to the shoulder blade leading to pain and distress.
- Injuries: Injuries may occur to the shoulder blade while carrying heavy load or exercising. This can further result in sharp and severe pain
- Compressed nerves: In case of compressed or pinched nerve, pain shifts from shoulder to arm. However, when pain occurs in the left or right shoulder it may not necessarily be serious and can be easily treated by over the counter medicines.
- Bursitis: Bursae are sacs filled with fluids; these are situated in between the muscle and bone. Inflammation of bursa is known as bursitis. Swelling of bursa causes pain in the left shoulder blade.
- Wrong sleeping position: When the sleeping posture is not in the right way, then it results in shoulder pain. Faulty sleeping position is a common reason for pain under left shoulder blade. Therefore it is necessary to take care while sleeping.
- Frozen Shoulder: Synovial fluid aids in smooth movements of the shoulder joints; lack of such fluids results in formation of frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder in turn leads to pain under shoulder blade.
- Cold and flu: Flu and cold are some common causes for body pain, which includes pain in shoulder muscle. It is however temporary.
- Fractures: If any fractures occurs to the shoulder blade or the collar bone it amounts to severe pain.
- Other Causes: These are:
- One of the reasons for pain under left shoulder blade may be felt due to heart attack. Pain gets transferred to left shoulder blade through the nerves.
- Pain may also occur due to inflammation of the pleura, pancreas.
- Inflammation of gallbladder or gallstone can also cause pain in the shoulders. Usually pain occurs in the right blade but sometimes it can affect the left blade also.
- One of the sign of pancoast syndrome is pain in the scapula area which moves toward the clavicle down to the elbow.
- Diseases like pneumonia, health issues like aortic dissection, and pulmonary embolism can also lead to pain under left shoulder blade.
- Ulcer or peptic ulcer in the intestine can also be a reason for soreness of shoulder blade.
Treatment of pain under left shoulder blade
To give the right treatment, it is first necessary to diagnose the cause for pain under left shoulder blade. Recurrent and regular pain mandates a visit to a doctor for checkup, diagnosis, and relevant treatment if necessary.
Steps to treat minor pain under left shoulder blade are:
- The first step is to stop over use of arms and shoulders. Avoid doing anything that would exert pressure on the shoulders. Give rest to the shoulders by lying down flat or supporting back while sitting.
- Some stretching exercises can be tried. Stretching should be gentle and it helps relax the tired shoulder muscles as well as release pain.
- Application of heat pad or ice cubes on overused, tired and sprained muscles helps give relief from pain and also lessens swelling. A heating pad can also be used to reduce pain as it improves circulation of blood and fastens the recovery process.
- Doctors may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for temporary relief from severe pain. Steroid injections may also be administered in some cases.